3 Financial Steps You Can Take RIGHT NOW To Help Launch 2016

“You never have to recover from a great start.”

This is a great quote that can apply to your financial journey for 2016! While we’re still a couple of weeks away from the new year, you can take steps right now to launch into 2016 with a financial fury!

5 Financial Steps You Can Take RIGHT NOW

  1. Open a 529 College Savings Plan for each of your children (or grandchildren)  One of the greatest blessings a child can receive is a college education free from the burden of student loans! Plus there are usually tax incentives for investments into your state’s plan!
  2. Open an online Savings Account (and start saving for Christmas 2016!) I am a big fan of online savings banks, and have held my savings there for years.
  3. Increase contributions to the retirement account (401k, 403b, 457, TSP, SEP-IRA, IRA, Roth-IRA, TFSA, RSP)  Even a 1% increase can completely change the trajectory of your financial future!

These three steps could be completed in less than 30 minutes. Why not do it now?

Challenge: Learn New Things

I love to learn new things!  If I learn something new every single day, then my life is very good.

I really want to challenge you to learn something new every day too. Here are some things I have learned that may help you out:

  • Insurance rates are much cheaper when bundled (auto & home; home & life; etc.) and for most people who have priced theirs out within the past couple of years, the savings could be $200 or more per year.
  • When you go to a dentist or doctor, you can negotiate the charges.  It is a service!!!  Many times, you can obtain a substantial discount on the amount you owe after insurance has paid its portion.  I have saved 10% twice and 6% once, each saving me $100s of dollars!
  • Use cash envelopes for spending categories that you tend to impulse on – groceries, dining out, clothing, spending money, entertainment.  We budget a set amount, pull it out in cash, and refuse to approach the bank again for the rest of the month.  When the money runs out, we’re done for the month!  It ensures you will NEVER overspend your budget!
  • Buy off-brands at the grocery store.  We have saved over $200/month since going to a cash envelope for groceries and purchasing the off-brands.  Off-brand milk tastes just like name-brand milk.  Off-brand Cheerios taste just like Cheerios.  Off-brand Froot-Loops taste just like Froot Loops.  Off-brand fritos taste just like Fritos.  I’m sticking with my Heinz ketchup, however.
  • Wait overnight on any purchase greater than $200.  I have not regretted this at all.  I have waited overnight on every large purchase, and it has really cooled the jets on some deals I might have made in the past.  This is a great way to avoid buyer’s remorse!  Wait.
  • Garage sales, yard sales, rummage sales, jockey lot sales, e-bay – are all great ways to find a great deal.
  • Fund some FUN with your tax refund.  I always make sure that we fund our summer vacation with our tax refund.  This ensures that I am going to follow the budget!  If my budget did not allow me to have fun, then it is quite likely that I would not be teaching this stuff!  I would certainly be less passionate about it.
  • Ask.  If you are going to spend a large sum of money on something, ask around for it first.  Somebody might have the very thing you are going to purchase and will sell it for pennies on the dollar or even give it to you!
  • Swap labor.  Help you friend or neighbor on their project and then have them help you out with yours.  No money.  Friendships are built.  Can you say WIN-WIN?

Can someone teach me something new today?  Add a comment below!